Real Madrid 2020-21 Quarter-Season Report Card: Sergio Ramos

Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images) /

Sergio Ramos has been Real Madrid’s most important player this season, contributing in pretty much every phase of the game.

As Real Madrid fans await for news of Sergio Ramos‘ extension, they have somehow become even more appreciative of the captain’s impact on the team. Ramos has scored game-saving and game-winning goals in huge matches, so Real fans haven’t exactly been taking one of the all-time great center backs for granted.

But when the team isn’t at its best and a lot of weaknesses are starting to show, Ramos’ leadership and uncanny qualities at the center back position tend to stand out even more. More to the point, when he’s not in the lineup, his value is magnified, as was the case in the 3-2 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Ramos has scored three goals in all competitions, so only striker Karim Benzema has more. He is the team’s leader in progressive passing distance, pass completion percentage, total completed passes, passes into the final third, switches of play, total progressive distance carried with the ball, total touches of the ball, and numbers of times targeted by passes from other players. (All stats are courtsey of

I know those are a lot of stats I listed, but they all focus on one very important point about Ramos. He is the focal point of the team. It isn’t a midfielder or a winger who leads the team in passing statistics or distance carried with the ball; it is Ramos.

That may actually be a negative, because it means there are other players who aren’t doing their jobs effectively. Vinicius Junior and Toni Kroos, for example, haven’t been at their best. A healthy Martin Odegaard could challenge Ramos for some of these statistics.

Sergio Ramos has been keeping it all together for Real Madrid

But finding a negative takeaway is beside the point. What matters is that Ramos has stepped up when his team has needed him the most as a uniting presence to string together passes and move the attack in the right direction.

Defensively, he’s been right there with Ferland Mendy as the best member of the back four. He adds more to the defense than the statistics show, as we saw when Raphael Varane and Eder Militao struggled with their assignments against Shakhtar Donetsk. Ramos’ experience allows him to quickly make decisions and direct the other players around him. And when Marcelo starts, he is often forced to cover even more ground defensively with Marcelo so high up the pitch.

Ramos hasn’t been perfect this season defensively, but nobody in Real’s back four has been at the same level defensively as they were in 2019-2020. The same goes for defensive midfielder Casemiro, whose inconsistency has arguably hurt the team more than anything, with the exception of Dani Carvajal’s injury.

But Ramos has been present, effective, and all-encompassing. His involvement offensively has been crucial to Real at least keeping the pace in La Liga, even if they are lower in the table than they would like. And in the Champions League, he’s been the man holding it all together for Real, who were an Inter Milan comeback away from staring down a possible Europa League entry.

Next. Real Madrid Quarter-Season Report Card for Ferland Mendy. dark

It’s impossible to give Ramos a true “A”, because there are only a couple of players on Real Madrid who are worthy of that high of a grade. However, Ramos has been pretty close to that level, perhaps even on importance alone.

Grade: A-, 8.5/10